A report released today by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Sierra Club and Oil Change International, in partnership with 28 organizations around the world, reveals that the world’s biggest banks are continuing to fuel climate change through the financing of extreme fossil fuels. The report finds that 2016 actually saw a steep fall in bank funding for extreme fossil fuels — however despite this overall reduction, banks are still funding extreme fossil fuel projects at a rate that will push us beyond the 1.5 degrees climate change limit determined by the Paris Climate Agreement.
In 2014, the banks analyzed in the report funneled USD $92 billion to extreme fossil fuels. In 2015, that number rose to $111 billion. 2016 was the first full calendar year to be studied since the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement — and the $87 billion figure represents a 22 percent drop from the previous year. While the drop-off is a move in the right direction, it is vital that this become an accelerating trend and not a blip. The findings show that if we are to have any chance of halting catastrophic climate change and reaching the Paris goal of limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees, there must be a complete phaseout of these dangerous energy sources and banks must implement policies against extreme fossil fuel funding.
“Right now, the biggest Wall Street funder of extreme fossil fuels is JPMorgan Chase. In 2016 alone they poured $6.9 billion into the dirtiest fossil fuels on the planet,” said Lindsey Allen, executive director of Rainforest Action Network. “On Wall Street they are number one in tar sands oil, Arctic oil, ultra-deepwater oil, coal power and LNG export. Even in this bellwether year when overall funding has declined, Chase is funneling more and more cash into extreme fossil fuels. For a company that issues statements in favor of the Paris Climate Accord, they are failing to meet their publicly stated ambitions.”
Kuba Gogolewski, finance campaigner at Polish Foundation “Development YES - Open-Pit Mines NO” said: “Funding companies that are developing new coal mines and power plants and planning more projects in the future is clearly at odds with climate science. It is just a question of time when communities impacted by climate change will start suing not only the companies developing coal projects but also the banks providing finance to build them.”